Hi all. I finished nursing school in May 2011 in California and have been looking for a job as a new grad RN, which as all new grads know has been really difficult in this economy. Before I did my RN program, I worked in the home health setting for a couple of years as an LVN. I worked as a private duty nurse and my patients needed more help with ADL's than serious medical treatment. Since the job market is so terrible in California for new grad RN's, I've been looking all over the country.
I was accepted into a new grad internship in the midwest, so I moved across the country by myself for this 13 week internship in MedSurg. The pay is very low compared to California (less than $20 an hour). But honestly, I don't care much about the pay- I feel like I needed the experience and it's been awhile since I've been in the hospital setting so I thought it would be good for me. I did not sign any contracts with the hospital since there's not a guarantee of a job after the internship, but I think they intend to offer a job if I do well since they are training me. I'm in the Float Pool right now and doing classroom training and working with preceptors on the Med Surg unit.
My main concern right now is that after being in a hospital setting on the unit, I feel so uncomfortable and like it's not the right place for me. It is very different than home health and the nurses here have 8-10 patients. It is so stressful and chaotic and I feel completely overwhelmed. Every day I come home so stressed out and overwhelmed. Honestly, I never really wanted to work in the hospital setting but many jobs I've applied for all want a year of acute care experience. I felt like maybe this is something I need to do to get that experience and then move onto an area outside of the hospital (like community health, outpatient clinic setting, etc.) The patients are so acute in the hospital and I'm not used to dealing with so many time management issues, and knowing how to treat these patients. It's so fast paced and I feel lost. The other interns in my class seem to all enjoy the challenges and the fast pace, but I feel overwhelmed and like I really don't want to be there! I know everyone says your first year in nursing is the most stressful, but I wonder if some people are just not cut out for floor nursing. I felt very confident and happy working in home health, but feel completely the opposite on the Med Surg floor.
Part of these feelings may be emphasized by feeling homesick- I really miss my family and friends and lifestyle in California (and the mountains!). I am 3 weeks into the 13 week internship, and I do intend to stay for the internship because I DO want to learn more clinical skills and grow as a nurse. But honestly, I really don't think I want to work in a hospital setting. My question is- if I left after the internship, do you think I could possibly get a nursing job in another area (outside of the hospital) and the internship would be valuable experience? Or do you think employers would frown upon leaving after an internship? I think if the hospital offers a permanent job on a unit (not on float pool) after the internship, we have to sign a year contract.
My question is- if hospital nursing is something I really don't want to do, should I leave after the 3 month internship and just put the internship on my resume, or try to stick it out for a year for the experience and just be really stressed out and unhappy? I can do it if I really have to, but if the hospital setting is not really what I want, is it really necessary? I want to do the right thing, and feel so confused right now. I don't know if it's worth the mental stress and also the risk of losing my license. (I have heard on the night shift that they sometimes have up to 12 patients, which really doesn't seem safe to me for any nurse- let alone a new grad!) I would really appreciate any advice! I don't want to keep bouncing around from job to job, but it is really important for me to find an area of nursing that I can do well in and have some enjoyment. I just really don't think it's in Med Surg!